The number of U.S. adults who smoke cigarettes has dropped to a new low of 11%, according to government survey data released Thursday.
U.S. cigarette smoking dropped to another all-time low last year, with 1 in 9 adults saying they were current smokers, according to government survey data released Thursday. Meanwhile, electronic cigarette use rose, to about 1 in 17 adults.
The findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are based on responses from more than 27,000 adults in 2022. They show a continued decline in cigarette smoking, which has been falling for decades due to higher taxes, stricter regulations and changing social norms.Embed from Getty Images
However, they also reveal a rise in e-cigarette use, which has been linked to health risks such as high blood pressure and narrowing of the arteries. E-cigarettes deliver nicotine through a heated liquid that creates an aerosol that users inhale.
Some experts worry that e-cigarettes may not only harm users’ health, but also undermine the progress made in reducing cigarette smoking by creating a new generation of nicotine addicts.
“I think that smoking will continue to ebb downwards, but whether the prevalence of nicotine addiction will drop, given the rise of electronic products, is not clear,” said Dr. Jonathan Samet, dean of the Colorado School of Public Health and a contributing author to U.S. Surgeon General reports on smoking and health.
He said more research is needed to understand the long-term effects of e-cigarettes and their role in helping or hindering smokers quit.Embed from Getty Images
The survey data also show that smoking and vaping rates are almost reversed for teens. Only about 2% of high school students were smoking traditional cigarettes last year, but about 14% were using e-cigarettes, according to other CDC data.Embed from Getty Images